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Kid’s Lemonade Stand Shut Down by Cops After Someone Called and Complained

Kid’s Lemonade Stand Shut Down by Cops After Someone Called and Complained

“The police officers, they couldn’t have been nicer, but someone complained about us,” she said. “It makes me sad that someone would do that.”

In Denver this past weekend, some soulless busybody called the cops on three little boys working their own lemonade stand.

Aged 6, 5, and 4, the Knowles boys set up a lemonade stand to raise money for Compassion International. All proceeds made from their entrepreneurial endeavor would have been sent to “a little 5-year-old boy from Indonesia with siblings, two siblings, kind of like them,” said their mother.

But in the age of big government, no good deed goes unpunished. 30 minutes into their lemonade stand fun, the cops showed up and shut them down for failure to have the correct permits. Their arrival was precipitated by a complaint.

Denver’s ABC affiliate reports:

Like many, Knowles made and sold lemonade during her summers as a kid. She appreciates all of the life lessons that come along with the idea.

“I want to teach my kids about being an entrepreneur and having your own business. My 6-year-old got his little toy cash register out that he got when he was about two or three and he was learning how to interact with customers and about customer service,” Knowles said.

He was also learning about the value of money and practicing his addition and subtraction skills.

All of the money from the stand was going to charity. The boys were planning on donating all of their proceeds to Compassion International.

“We here are very fortunate and we forget that many kids in the world are not as fortunate as we are in Colorado or in the country, and so I wanted to teach them how to donate money to a charity,” Knowles said.

Together, her sons picked a child in Indonesia to help provide basic necessities for, including clean water.

“They picked a little 5-year-old boy from Indonesia with siblings, two siblings, kind of like them,” she said.

For a while, things were going well with their lemonade stand, which they set up in a park right across the street from their house near an outdoor art show.

“They got a lot of people coming and praising the boys and telling them that they were doing a great job,” Knowles said. “That was so good for my boys to hear and for them to interact with people they’ve never met before in a business way.”

But just a half-hour into their business venture, police arrived.

“The police officers came over and they said that because my boys and I did not have permits for a lemonade stand they shut us down and we had to stop immediately,” she said. “My boys were crushed. They were devastated. And I can’t believe that happened. I remember as a child I always had lemonade stands and never had to worry about being shut down by the police officers. I mean that’s unheard of.”

It was a scary experience for the kids and something that Knowles says shouldn’t have happened.

“My 6-year-old he saw the police officers coming over and he ran and he hid,” she said. “My 4-year-old came over and was looking at the police officer and heard what he was saying. He started to frown and then he started to cry. And it made me want to cry because they were so upset.”

Knowles says someone from the nearby art show called police on her sons and complained.

“The police officers, they couldn’t have been nicer, but someone complained about us,” she said. “It makes me sad that someone would do that.”

The news station contacted the permitting the department, who explained “there are no rules explicitly prohibiting a lemonade stand, but there are also no rules protecting it.”

Since they were unable to raise money for Compassion International by selling lemonade, Knowles set up a GoFundMePage. As of the time of this post’s publication, the boys had surpassed their goal of $920, raising $1096.


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Someone has a bad karma coming down.

JohnSmith100 | May 30, 2018 at 9:30 pm

I never pass up a kids lemonade stand. Their first entrepreneurial experience is so important.

Denver, huh. They’re tax evaders. Perhaps they should sell a drug fit for puff the hallucinating dragon.

Since there are no rules prohibiting a lemonade stand then those boys should reopen and have a lawyer with the disposition of a pit bull at their side!

Subotai Bahadur | May 30, 2018 at 9:55 pm

I also stop for every kids’ lemonade stand that I see. I grew up in Denver and its suburb Aurora. It was a kinder, freer, safer place then. I am an old man, and in the decades that have passed the control by the Left has made them dark, evil, and hateful places. I only go there when I absolutely have to, and leave as soon as I can.

    So, the reason that those places change is summed up in one word … California. Every time there is a recession in CA (which is quite often) the parasites leave and go infect a nearby city. Seattle, didn’t used to be like it is before the Californian’s arrived. But I digress. If you want to know what happened there was an evacuation of CA and at some point a bunch of them chose Denver as the new it location and they brought all the “good” things with them.

    There is a South Park episode that sums up this transition perfectly. Thankfully in the show the Californian’s are ejected but most cities aren’t that lucky.

I would love to see a quiet nationwide movement to encourage all children to operate their own lemonade stand.

By letting them experience the concept of individual initiative, property rights and free exchange of capital for services, we would be replanting the seeds of liberty and an ideological counter-revolution for the next generation.

James Madison had remarked in “Notes on Government” that personal experience is the best teacher of Liberty and Republicanism—referring to the homesteaders and farmers who are more jealous of their freedoms than the urban “wage earners” as he called them.

    OllBlueEyes in reply to Aucturian. | May 31, 2018 at 7:45 am

    How would Philly and the other sugary drinks tax cities respond?

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Aucturian. | May 31, 2018 at 8:17 am

    My first entrepreneurial experience was when my father took me to sell produce from our garden door to door in the city, and keep the money. When I was teenage, my father grandfather & I built a house which my father still lives in today.

    I started my first business at age 19, was completely free of debt by 35 and built my own house at 36. Sweat equity is a fantastic way to get ahead, as was living frugally to save money to build that house.

    Exposing children to things like building, repairing things, and generally teaching them broad skills builds their self confidence.

    Mike43 in reply to Aucturian. | May 31, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Actually, there is such an organization. The only reason I know is one of my adult kiddos did some computer stuff for them.

    Check them out:

    It’s a good group, teaches entrepreneurial and business math skills to students.

NavyMustang | May 30, 2018 at 10:18 pm

The way I was taught in the police academy is that we officers have discretion. This is a case screaming for that. If I had been the responding officer, then I would have maybe educated the kids on permits, then written a mock one out for them. Then I would have bought most if not all of their merchandise.

Discretion. It’s not a dirty word.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to NavyMustang. | May 30, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    It looks as if your training was very similar to mine, nearly half a century ago. If there is no law against it, you can do it.

    My response in a similar situation would be much the same. I can find no words to justify how the police handled this one.

    Arminius in reply to NavyMustang. | May 31, 2018 at 4:29 am

    You’re a good egg, Mustang. Not a Mustang. My father, the sainted Senior Chief, insisted I join as an officer. And since he was paying for the education who was I to argue.

      NavyMustang in reply to Arminius. | May 31, 2018 at 7:50 am

      Yup, I was an officer, but the rank I am most proud of is that of a board selected CPO.

      “Once a Chief, always a Chief!”

Every summer, here in Rockport, MA, some kids will set up a similar arrangement. As well as I know, the local constables turn a blind eye to the matter, so long as it is of limited endurance.

I wonder how it would work out if the kids gave away the lemonade or soft drinks while recommending that patrons make contributions to an unrelated third party funding deal such as gofundme or such.

Good kids, good Mom, may their blessings be increased as the love in their hearts grows.

So why didn’t the cops just tell the sniveling whiner to take a hike?

    Arminius in reply to maxmillion. | May 31, 2018 at 6:50 am

    That sounds like a good question for a police officer.

    Mr. Policeman. I know I’m taking my life into my hand when I drink a drink squeezed from a fruit and hand prepared by a six year old. I simply choose to contribute to his or her college fund. What business is it of the police?

      Arminius in reply to Arminius. | May 31, 2018 at 6:56 am

      Or better, maybe it’s a better question for the city council. Sorry, police officers. You aren’t responsible for the laws you enforce. But thank you for enforcing them.

      Arminius in reply to Arminius. | May 31, 2018 at 7:12 am

      This came up to a very certain degree. Involving homosexuality in the militery. The Chief of Naval Operations said that he knew gay people in the Navy since 1968.

      Now, that drew fire from all sides. Pick and choose if you like. But if you’re in the Navy you don’t get to pick and choose. All the rules apply to everyone. So what other laws and regulations did the CNO choose not to apply?

      This may not seem to be a serious question, if you have never been in the service. And what laws, regulations, and rules do I get to choose to apply?

This is why eggs and TP were invented.

It’s situations like this where I want to know who filed the complaint, so that I can publicly denounce them.

    MajorWood in reply to Paul. | May 30, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Complaint likely filed by a homeless person who wasn’t given a comfy enough chair.

The article itself says that there are NO ordinances prohibiting the operation of a temporary lemonade stand.
The kids were NOT breaking the law, and the police should have told the a-hole who complained to go pound sand, not break the kids hearts.

    ss396 in reply to Exiliado. | May 31, 2018 at 8:16 am

    The article also said the kids were in a park. I wonder if there is an ordinance about setting up a commercial operation in a park. Like a craft fair, or an art show.

“they set up in a park…”

There’s the trouble.

“… right across the street from their house near an outdoor art show”

Why not just move the stand back to their own yard? Artists would have no standing to get puckered about that. Of course, if it was bad art, a kid’s lemonade stand would have better draw.

    Exiliado in reply to MrE. | May 31, 2018 at 12:29 am

    It would be nice to find out the name of the ‘art’ gallery and make them famousnotorious for their a-holery.

    Exiliado in reply to MrE. | May 31, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Quick google search and everything is clear now.

    Denver Arts Festival going on nearby, somebody selling lemonade at $7.00 a glass, while the kids were doing 75 cents or 2 for $1.00
    That’s all there is to it.

      assemblerhead in reply to Exiliado. | May 31, 2018 at 6:54 am

      Thanks for the info.

      Someone wanted to protect their monopoly on Lemonade. Figures.

      SDN in reply to Exiliado. | May 31, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Which means $7 a glasshole had to have a permit, and the last time I checked, permits and licenses were public records.

Yep, it was the art fair crowd, typical libs, no room to compete with a couple kids. Cops clearly had no legal justification to demand they stop. Parent perhaps could have been a little wiser and not set up shop on park property or adjacent ROW, should have kept on their side of street.

Ask the Police for WHO complained and let the neighbor hood know who it is. I’ll bet they are libTard demoCraps who are still having a Temper Tantrum because Hillary Lost !!

A person might take a look at this incident and think that the issues are totally innocuous. Maybe a perpetual grouch, or, an unrepentantly miserable curmudgeon was responsible for calling the cops. But, I’d submit that this action really represents the Left’s irrepressible and reflexively totalitarian instincts in all matters, from the seemingly insignificant, to the far more sweeping and pervasive.

These people want to exert control over ever facet of human life, from the words that we utter, to the foods and beverages that we eat and drink, to the cars that we drive, etc., etc. These reprobates disdain the exercise of individual choices and free will, as the State (in its alleged sagacity and benevolence and infallibility) must control all things.

“…when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing- you may know that your society is doomed.” – Ayn Rand

A week ago a couple kids set up a lemonade stand with free lemonade. That’s what their sign said, and that’s what they were shouting to the traffic: FREE LEMONADE

They also had a tip jar.*

Is there an ordinance against giving away free lemonade?**

* I’ll wager they got more with a tip jar than they would’ve if they’d priced the lemonade.
** Houston does: you cannot feed the homeless unless you have a permit.

Someone from a nearby art show. Says it all.

Close The Fed | May 31, 2018 at 11:37 am

I remember well when my sister and brother and I did this in the 60s in a Pittsburgh suburb in the yard at the end of our gravel driveway. It was soooooo much fun!!!!

It was so much fun acting like grownups! I don’t remember everything we sold or if we made any money, but I do remember we laid everything out very neatly and buying M&Ms so we could resell them. Mom was very helpful. It was a blast!!!

At least three hardcore libertarians have been created.

Matthew Carberry | May 31, 2018 at 12:20 pm

“The news station contacted the permitting the department, who explained “there are no rules explicitly prohibiting a lemonade stand, but there are also no rules protecting it.”

This being the US, if there are no rules explicitly forbidding something, and it doesn’t create an immediate risk of harm to others, then it is allowed.

Any bets on there being a stall at the market that was selling lemonade and decided to roust the competition?

The kids were violating everything Obama was against; Job creation and helping the economy.
Also they did it themselves and not as Obama said, The government did it.

Just try to get the cops I worked with to shut those kids down. We would have bought the lemonade and waved at the busybody who called the police.

Our society has gone from adults to children who need rules for everything. If it’s not forbidden it must be mandatory.

Henry Hawkins | May 31, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Bear in mind these kids were not using free range lemons.

We should locate the offended lemonade stand at the art fair and send Bill Burr over to deal with it.

Latus Dextro | May 31, 2018 at 6:17 pm

An exemplar of the Leftist bureaucracies “transformational” agenda that requires box-ticking compliance, a banal and deadly quality that turns civilised society into gulags.